Online Review How To Play Drums In A Big Band Book bookBOOK/CD

Digging for pay dirt, Rich Thompson surpasses the typical “play this groove, then hit this hit” approach to big band chart instruction. Offering insightful commentary on the arrangements, Thompson stresses an awareness of the big picture that ultimately gives musical shape to a piece. “Don’t forget to read charts as much with your ears as your eyes,” he reminds us. Seven full-length jazz arrangements serve as the book’s centerpiece, expertly executed by Thompson’s eighteen-piece band on the listening/play-along CD. As both a drummer who’s performed with major jazz artists and an associate professor at the Eastman School of Music, Thompson offers authoritative guidance. But it’s his real-world wisdom that most enlightens the material. ( Jeff Potter